Port Lincoln fire reignites

The view from the Edillilie CFS truck.
The view from the Edillilie CFS truck.
Photo: Terry Grenville.

Photo: Terry Grenville.

Photo: Janet Szigeti in Port Lincoln.

Photo: Janet Szigeti in Port Lincoln.

Fire at Palmer, north of Murray Bridge, on Tuesday. Photo: Carol Hodgkinson

Fire at Palmer, north of Murray Bridge, on Tuesday. Photo: Carol Hodgkinson

Firefighters are working in cool conditions tonight as they work to regain control of a fire burning out of control to the west of Port Lincoln.

Advice from the CFS is that the fire is burning near Rifle Range on Winch Road and is travelling in a northerly direction towards Flinders Highway and Coomunga.

The weather bureau forecasts clear conditions for Thursday with east to south-easterly winds, wind gusts up to 25km/h and a top of 23 degrees.

It's a far cry from the 35 degrees and northerly wind gusts in excess of 50km/h which were present when the fire first erupted around 11am on Tuesday.

More information can be found at the CFS website or on the CFS Facebook page.

TodayFires burn across South Australia

Investigators are on charred ground near Port Lincoln in a bid to discover what sparked Tuesday's 1700ha blaze which threatened to hit the town.

CFS Eyre Peninsula Commander Kevin May told a media conference on Wednesday that fire crews would remain on the fire ground into the night to monitor flare ups.

"This is in heavy scrub so these crews are going to have to monitor those hot spots until the first winter rains so that could be April, it could be May," he said.

"There were some crops lost .... the main concern yesterday [Tuesday] was to turn around and hold that fire.

"And I think we need to understand that we fought that fire to the end and stopped it. It wasn't nature that stopped it. We did it. Those crews on the ground did it."

The Coomunga fire, looking at Port Lincoln from jetty. Source: Port Lincoln Times

The Coomunga fire, looking at Port Lincoln from jetty. Source: Port Lincoln Times

Source: Port Lincoln Times

Source: Port Lincoln Times

The blaze, which started in scrub land to the west of Port Lincoln around 11am on Tuesday, came within 10 kilometres of the city's outskirts.

It was finally contained overnight, helped along by cooler temperatures and high humidity.

Smoke also drifted across the peninsula and was visible in Port Pirie and Port Augusta.

Mr May said the Coomunga fire was still burning but was within containment lines.

In the Murraylands, firefighters were sent to relieve crews who had been fighting fires in the Coorong area overnight.

Minor blazes also ignited at at Coonalpyn, Malinong, Ngarkat, and Field.

Locals have been busy with their cameras, catching these amazing images – click here to view them.

And a hay shed fire which erupted at Wolseley near Bordertown on Tuesday is expected to burn for several weeks.

The property owner's son manage to save items from the shed.

"Within five minutes of me moving things out the way, the whole shed was alight from one end to the other,” he said.

Port Lincoln 'very lucky'

The fire in thick scrub land which came within kilometres of Port Lincoln on Tuesday erupted just over a week after another fire which destroyed homes and property.

A fire at Sleaford Mere-Tulka on Remembrance Day destroyed 1800ha as well as two homes, 14 cabins, a caravan, a campervan and four cars before it was brought under control.

Local wildlife was also impacted, with burnt and sore koalas distributed to vets and wildlife centres for care.

Vet nurse Deearn Smith from Lincoln Vet Care had the honour of returning to the wild a koala she had nursed back to health.

Weatherzone meteorologist Ben Domensino told Fairfax Port Lincoln was in the grip of its worst fire danger conditions in three years when the blaze broke out west of the town at Mungerowie scrub around 11am on Tuesday.

"High temperature, low humidity and strong winds are what fuel fires ... Port Lincoln and the whole south of the state had most extreme combination of these things in three years yesterday," he said.

Air moisture was sitting at 79 per cent at Port Lincoln airport at 6.30am today, compared to 9 per cent at 11am on Tuesday.

At 6.30am, wind gusts of up to 20km/h were recorded at the airport, compared to 67km/h gusts when the fire started.

"Conditions are much more favourable for firefighters today ... they're expecting a top of 21 degrees," said Mr Domensino.

Some residents fled their homes on Tuesday while others took refuge at local businesses in the CBD.